Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It all started when I was about six years old when our Brownie leader asked my mom that I not return to the group. I guess I found the activities less than exciting so I rounded up all my little fellow Brownies and conducted a field trip into the woods--a nature hike if you will.
Needless to say, after considerable time searching for us wandering rebels, the Troop Mother in charge was less than enchanted with my leadership skills and decided that I was no asset to the group and my presence was no longer desired.
Subsequently, I have been asked on frequent occasions to refrain from returning to a certain locales for various unfounded infractions on my part. I vividly remembering uttering, “I’ve been kicked out of better places than this,” more than once in my long and colorful life.
The latest occurred just today and while I abhor anyone who comes off as a victim, I really don’t think I caused the latest boot. It went like this…
I had many of my handmade designs, including baby dresses, back-to-school outfits, toddler sun suits, etc., comfortably ensconced in a local consignment shop here in Poulsbo. I’ve had them there for a couple of months and had a few of the items sell.
Last week I dropped in and was informed that two more had sold and that I could pick up my share of the take this week, which I did today.

When I showed up, I was informed that my “90 days” were up and that I should gather everything up and take it with me.
Where did that come from?
Then, as I’m loaded down with my entire inventory like your friendly, neighborhood pack mule, the owner said their lawyer told them they weren’t allowed to give me the agreed-upon 70%/30% split. This is the commission common when a designer puts new, handmade items in a consignment store, as opposed to used clothing.
Now, friends and neighbors, I can truly say that I didn’t say anything to provoke this ousting. In fact, I was never in the store to even have the opportunity to offend or display rudeness.
Would I be oversensitive to consider this abrupt dismissal unprofessional and handled badly? Do you think that a prior discussion would have been considerate? Do you think that the owner could have employed better communication?
It would be so easy for me to kick her under the bus and mention the name of the shop, but I am more professional than that. I will say that it’s NOT Rock-a-Buy, Closet Transfer or Lollipops. They have treated me with the utmost respect and for that I commend them and must express my admiration and appreciation. I wish them well in their success.
File this under rants and raves and thank you for listening. I feel much better now for venting. lol

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Paint Formica

Here are photos of my kitchen remodel so far. First I stripped off the previous black paint I did a couple of years ago. Originally it was a garish Halloween orange so any change was an improvement. Then eventually, the black started chipping off so rather than touch it up, I decided to start from scratch.

After stripping and rubbing it down with steel wool, I thoroughly masked everything off to avoid overspray. (Too bad I didn't mask off my nostrils!) Then I used white spray primer to cover up the orange. That was followed by two light coats of off-white textured spray paint.

I finished with two coats of water-based, interior Varathane.

In the photos you can also see that I painted the accent wall a "Cream of Asparagus Soup" green.

The pictures on the far wall are covers from "Bon Appetit" magazine and the pictures over the sink are recipes from the same magazine. FREE wall art.

The new utensil holder is a green ice bucket found at Goodwill today.

Top left photo: Masked with first coat of Primer.
Top right photo: The finished product
Bottom right photo: Original black paint job.

All in all, I think it turned out much fresher and clean feeling. Next comes the hardwood floor.
Wish me luck on that one.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Since setting up an online shop on “etsy” I’ve gone through a rollercoaster of emotions trying to make a go of it.
I’ve beat myself up comparing myself and my number of sales to other sellers who have surpassed my record by astronomical numbers. (Of course I never compare myself to those who don’t do as well as me, do I?)
I’ve also berated myself by not being able to read all the advice available on the site; not participating fully in the social networking sites; not having a scintillating blog; not having professional photography; nor setting up my own website.
I vacillate between thinking I’m the most talented, undiscovered designer of children’s clothing to being sure that everything I make are amateurish which look homemade.
Every time I sit down to sew another garment, which normally I thoroughly enjoy, I feel guilty indulging my selfish pleasures instead of sweating through the required computer duties required for stellar success.
Today I had an epiphany. It came to me as an analogy. If I were a singer and attained fame on “American Idol,” and my life were no longer my own, would I regret ever having pursued the elusive prize of success? Would I wish I could still have my leisure time to myself and enjoy former privacy and freedom of movement?
I really don’t realistically think that having a profitable shop on “etsy” compares with being a rock star but I do know if I got so many orders that I was forced to spend all my time producing merchandise, I’d wish I could go back in time.
After all, I am retired and shouldn’t feel obligated to start a career at this stage in my life. When the joy goes out of the pursuit of success you have already failed. When it becomes a duty and chore, you’ve lost sight of why you entered into it in the first place.
At that point, it’s time to go back to square one and do what you enjoy. If something sells, it’s a nice little bonus. If it doesn’t, beating your breast won’t make it happen.
Life’s too short to become one of the mass of men who lead lives of quiet desperation. Time to go out and smell those roses.